Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

June 7, 2014

The heat is on

VALDOSTA — We haven’t hit 100 degrees yet, but the heat has returned to South Georgia.

After an exceptionally mild, cool and even at times brisk spring, even the 90-plus-degree days have felt like cookers during the past week. Also, a review of recent emergency scanner traffic has revealed an apparent increase in calls regarding people who are short of breath, experiencing chest pains and other symptoms that can reflect over-exertion in the heat.

Some things to remember as the days get hotter.

• People should drink plenty of water. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate the body rather than rejuvenate it.

• Use a damp cloth to keep yourself cool. Eat cool foods like salads.

• Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

• Closing blinds and curtains at home during the day can keep houses cooler. Keep doors and windows closed to get better efficiency from overworked air-conditioning units.

• Keep pets cool, with plenty of water, and allowing them indoors, or at least a spot with plenty of shade.

• If exercising outside, use caution and common sense. Both exercise and the temperature increase the body’s temperature. Avoid the midday sun. Have a back-up plan by working out in the gym or inside the air-conditioned coolness of home.

The best way to deal with the heat is to pay attention.

If you feel too warm, stop, do something about it. If you’ve been exercising or working outside too long, take a break, go inside, get cool, slowly drink a cool iced drink, restore fluids lost to sweat.

Pay attention to your air-conditioning. If it seems overworked, do something before it breaks down. Change the filters, adjust the thermostat, have a professional check it.

A little precaution, a little attention can go a long way. Because let’s face it. If this is the traditional South Georgia summer, cool days are nowhere in sight.

The heat’s only just arrived.

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